Older people “often ignored” says Bexhill woman
As part of UK Older People’s Day this week one Bexhill woman has spoken out on behalf of older people in Sussex. Pauline Jackson is a trustee of Age UK East Sussex and a member of the Sussex Elders’ Commission (SEC). The SEC is a new initiative from Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Katy Bourne which offers an opportunity for older residents to support, challenge and inform local policing priorities.
Speaking about why she joined the SEC and its importance to people in Sussex Pauline said: “I feel passionate about older people and want to do all I can to help ensure that they have a good quality of life. Older people are often ignored and made to feel that their views don’t count. I am particularly concerned about those who are isolated or suffer from loneliness.
“As part of my work on the SEC I want to be able to share residents’ thoughts on how safe they feel in the community and the priorities they would like to see the police focus on. I’ve spoken to many people so far and the overwhelming message that comes back is that we are actually giving up our time to talk to them and they are so grateful that somebody cares. They tell me that this is the first time anybody has asked for their opinion.”
The SEC have had conversations with more than 800 people so far and attracted support from across the county, including from local MPs such as Nus Ghani, MP for Wealden who said: “As Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Ageing and Older People I wanted to acknowledge the innovative approach being taken by Sussex PCC Katy Bourne to engage with older people and articulate their concerns and ideas on policing, crime and community safety. I have invited members to give evidence to the APPG and hope to host the launch of their report and recommendations early next year.”
Talking about the role of the SEC Mrs Bourne said: “Everybody should feel that their views count and that’s why it’s so important that the members of my SEC are giving residents a real voice on the policing and crime issues that matter most to them.”
To view a short film about the SEC please visit www.sussex-pcc.gov.uk/elders-commission/